My Neighbor Is A Raptor

To say my neighbor is a raptor sounds intense, and overly dramatic but my neighbor is an actual bird of prey.

When we first moved into our new apartment last October one of the first things I noticed while standing on our balcony and looking at a densely knotted mass of trees next to our building was that way up high there was what appeared to be a massive nest.
The nest remained unoccupied and pretty much ignored for the rest of fall and throughout last winter, but once spring started showing signs of its arrival two large birds started showing up, flying around, as dots above our back yard and not doing much else.
With each passing day though, they got closer and closer. Eventually taking up residence in the once abandoned nest. I didn’t think much of it since they never stayed long before disappearing for hours or days at a time. So I thought maybe the big birds were just going to stop by for a while before settling in elsewhere.
As it turned out they reinforced the nest, making it much larger and since then have been hanging out in the Hof a lot more.

I think it’s awesome that my neighbors are raptors (that is what a Wikipedia article says is a general term for birds of prey). It sounds so awesome in my head that I’m going to keep saying.

…Makes me think of this picture every time I say it.
A couple of days ago the big birds have been just hanging out in the backyard much to the dismay of all the other birds and a busy little squirrel who thinks he owns the neighborhood.
In his head, the ginger bastard is the Don of Lindleinsmühle, Würzburg, and struts around thuggin’ on all of the other backyard animals.
To his credit, he fended off his nest from two black squirrels and I wish my camera battery had been charged considering it was a 2-hour epic battle worthy of its own Game of Thrones-esque soundtrack.
In fact, the only little critter that even comes close to being as badass as the one living in my backyard is that weasel that rode a woodpecker through the air.
And I actually watched the ginger squirrel get in a fight, chasing off the only green-woodpecker-that-picks-its-food-off-the-ground-like-a-chicken I’ve ever seen in my life.
I thought he was fighting a funny looking parrot until I saw the article on Huffington Post. Until that day I never even thought woodpeckers landed on the ground, much less forage for food like a chicken the way the European Green Woodpecker does.
…What an original name, at least it’s called a Grünspecht, Grasspecht or Erdspecht in German which kind of sound better until you can understand German and realize that regardless of the language that bird got a bland name.
Back to the fact that my neighbor is a raptor!
 
As I mentioned the big bird had started hanging out in the backyard much to the dismay of all the other wildlife that live, and hang out back there. I know this because it sounds like the London Philharmonic taking whistling lessons while wearing earmuffs through my windows every single time. I don’t need the app… My back yard becomes a real life version of Angry Birds every time he does this.
It took a few days before I realized what the source of the commotion was. The other day he was calmly hopping up a tree, going from one branch to the other letting the smaller birds think he wasn’t half as dangerous as he is and the Amsel  (Common Blackbird) would bomb attack just like they do in Angry Birds. Only… The resident raptor isn’t some rotund, slow reacting pig relying on his surroundings for security. The raptor is not a bird that anything smaller should attack, which the Amsel learned pretty fast.
It was kind of funny, every member from the cast of Angry Birds was present one morning. All furious, rage-chirping and doing little twerk-like movements. Trying to scare the beast off from all of the smaller nests.
Then earlier this week the End of Days arrived.
And there was three.
Three of the predators have officially moved into Lindleinsmühle. With the rise in numbers, there has also been a significant rise in confidence and showmanship. They roost where they please. Walk around on the grass slaughtering grasshoppers, worms, and other innocent little bugs almost as a display of power to show they’re destroying everyone’s food and aren’t even going to eat it. JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN!
Even the red squirrel has moved into a summer villa until the big birds move on for the winter. He did try to fight one of the raptors but quickly decided ain’t nobody got time for that and moved.
I’m not sure what these birds are exactly. I think they are the Rough-Legged Hawk, but only Americans call them Hawks. Apparently Germans and the rest of the world call them Buzzards. Whenever I hear buzzard I think of Beaky Buzzard from Looney Toons. So I’m sticking with Hawk or maybe Falcon unless you can correct me.

My wife said one of the non-raptor neighbors told here that there are five and the smaller birds always go bonkers when they arrive and kill a baby bird.
Here are a bunch of photos from the day they took over. My backyard is better than the third Terminator movie.
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American expat in Germany, novice blogger, amateur artist, rehabilitated couch potato, smartphone addict, full-time father, husband and terminal nerd.

JDWOODYARD

American expat in Germany, novice blogger, amateur artist, rehabilitated couch potato, smartphone addict, full-time father, husband and terminal nerd.

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